Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)


OSH (Occupational Safety and Health): The topics included in this unit should afford FCT-UNL students the fundamental knowledge and skills to deal with occupational safety and health (OSH) and its management; the contents are interrelated with other matters of their curricula.

At the end of the semester, students should have gained fundamental competencies and skills to:

- participate in OSH Management

- identify common workplace hazards

- carry out preliminary risk assessments and prevent risks commonly present in most industrial workplaces

- communicate risk, and discuss risk prevention with the company''''s local OSH managers (OSH officers)

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria Nascimento Lopes Nunes, Maria Celeste Rodrigues Jacinto


Weekly - 4

Total - 64

Teaching language



There is not a specific "precedent" curricular unit. Basic requirements are general knowledge in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. 


- ISO 45001. 2018. Occupational health and safety management systems. 

- BS 8800. 2004. Guide to occupational health and safety management systems. British Standard Institutions

- Miguel, Alberto S. 2014. Manual de Higiene e Segurança do Trabalho, 13ª Edição, Porto Editora (MAIN BOOK)

- Harms-Ringdahl, L. 2001. Safety Analysis – Principles and Practice in Occupational Safety. 2nd Ed. Taylor & Francis, Lon.

- Jacinto, Celeste; não pub, 2012. Métodos Práticos para Análise e Avaliação de Riscos. Apoio às aulas, FCT/UNL

- Kjellén, Urban. 2000. Prevention of accidents through experience feedback. Taylor & Francis, Lon.

- Legislation / EU Directives: Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda.  

- Willie H.1989. Occupational Safety Management and Engineering, 4th Ed, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Teaching method

1 Theoretical lectures  (online in 2021- Zoom)

An oral presentation is given using slides (PowerPoint) shared via ZOOM platform. The students are encouraged to intervene and interact with the lecturer, with a view to assessing their knowledge in other associated matters. This way, the lecturer has the possibility to make a brief review of other issues that need clarification, in order to facilitate communication and understanding.

2 Practical lectures and laboratory sessions (via Zoom)

In view of the very practical nature of this course and, as far as reasonably possible, real examples and case-studies are analysed. To this effect, photos and videos are frequently used. 

In addition, the following activities are also carried out:

-   Solving practical cases and calculations. Discussion of results (accident statistics, accident rates, chemical contamination levels, and their respective Confidence Intervals, noise levels, exposure to vibration, etc).

-   Team-work (groups of around 3), in which students have to carry out the search and analysis of National and European OSH Regulations. Each group has to make an oral presentation on a specific topic for the whole class (PowerPoint). This oral presentation is designed not only to assess students'''' ability to analyze and synthesize legal requirements but also to extend the knowledge they receive within the theoretical lectures. It allows disseminating OSH legislation.

-  Use and demonstration of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment); this is done through the existing set of equipment in the LAB. Legal aspects of PPE. Safety signs: same as previous.

-   Noise measurement – assessment of noise exposure using existing equipment (sound level meters - demo via Zoom). Protection and prevention measures. Discussion of results (at the end, students are required to deliver a summary report with results and main conclusions).

-  Level of illumination. Lab work (adapted online in 2021): measurement and evaluation parameters. Use of lux meters.Calculation and assessment of the illumination requirements of a workplace (room). Analysis and discussion of the results (at the end, students are required to deliver a summary report with results and main conclusions).   

For registered students, information on the course and teaching materials are available online within the CLIP system.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is based on 3 elements (graded 0-20), as follows.

> 1 GROUP ASSIGN. (GA) (20% weight on final classification) - specific topic per group, with the delivery of a PowerPoint (oral presentations this year are made via Zoom due to Covid-19 restrictions). This first assignment is used to decide whether the student gains access to the final exam (minimum score is 10).

2 INDIVIDUAL TESTS (T) (80% weight on final classification, 40% each test) (average min score is 9.5). If necessary, these individual tests will be carried out online (and adapted for such a modality). 

Students failing to "pass" in the two tests, may try again at the two Examination periods (Jun & Jul) 

Students wishing to improve their grade may attend the second Examination period (JUL)

   FINAL GRADE (average)= [20%GA + 40%T1 + 40%T2]

Subject matter

1. Introduction Safety Management: Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management systems. Legal aspects. Introduction to the concepts of hazard, risk and risk acceptability. The ALARP principle in risk management. Standard ISO 45001:2018.

2. Occupational accidents and their prevention: Accident causation models, statistical indices more commonly used; performance indicators for OSH.

3. Fire and Explosion: Explosion and fire limits. Flammable substances and their classification. Fire and explosion risks and their assessment. Fire prevention and protection strategies. Firefighting: main systems and equipment.

4. Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene: Chemical hazards. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). Occupational Noise and Vibration. Illumination in the workplace. Thermal environment.

5. Occupational Safety: Safety Signs. Personal Protective Equipment. Storage of hazardous substances. Electrical hazards.